Despite the fact that I spent yesterday afternoon cooking by the pool and gently imploring summer to stay FOREVER, fall is coming. Maybe. Slowly. But coming. And with it we will revel in pumpkin flavored everything, butternut squash, cool days, and all things autumnal. One day fairly soon, we will look up in the grocery story and see that all those gnarly heirloom tomatoes are gone. Golden ears of corn — gone. Fresh peaches and juicy plums — gone. Bright yellow squash – gone. We will wonder what we are supposed to get excited about in the kitchen for the next 7 months until the first spring veggies pop up, and then we will remember: kale. It is always there, always lurking at the edge of the produce bins, always reminding us that its tough and bitter self is there, waiting. Kale is eternal, like taxes and bad drivers who don’t use turn signals.Luckily, for me kale is an eternally good thing. Remember my kale love and recipes over here? I take a slight break in summer, filling my meals with caprese salad, but I never drift too far from my rough green friend. I like it pretty much any way other than humiliated in the form of kale chips (grosssssss), but my current favorite way is disguised as tasty healthy breading in kale chicken.
Y’all, if you hate kale, I encourage you to start here. My friend Christine made it for me once and it has become a staple in our home ever since. Kale chicken is everything you love about dinner, plus kale and its magic nutrients, minus much of the standard bitter taste of kale. Win, win, win. It wins over the kale skeptics I have found around my table, namely that husband of mine, who even requests it when he gets to visit because it is both tasty and packed with veggies. Plus, it’s cheap because kale is basically a weed and even the Hipsters’ love of it hasn’t managed to make it expensive yet. Before I get to the recipe, I need to give a disclaimer: this isn’t really a beautiful dish. It is delicious, but it is also just a giant mess of kale, photographed as I was quickly losing light, in my kitchen that is approximately the size of a shoebox. I dragged some kale into the living room for those first shots, but then it just seemed like such a hassle. Plus, you already know this isn’t one of those life-is-perfect blogs, so above I gave you an awkward out-of-focus picture of me trying to both massage kale, and photograph it at the same time. The things I do for you people, all so you can eat chicken coated in buttery kale. In the above post you see 10 cups of kale and almost every ounce of counter space in my entire kitchen. Good times. I think I should just stop trying to convince you to eat this and blitzing you with unexciting kale closeups and give you the recipe. Eat up. Kale Chicken
***Recipe given per chicken breast. Multiply as needed. In our home we always cut chicken breasts in half because American chickens have insane chests that are just way more than needed for one person. Also, it saves mucho cash-o.***
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3-4 cups kale, stems removed, washed and drained
- 3 TBS butter (but hey, more is never a bad thing)
- 1/4 cup parmesan or Italian blend cheese
- 1/8-1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (approximately… I just throw some in but it’s about that.)
- Garlic salt
- Preheat oven to 350 and butter the bottom of a baking dish.
- Tear kale into small chunks and mix with crumbs and cheese. Massage mixture lightly, not so it is all mushy, but just to integrate everything together and break down the kale a little.
- Melt the butter and dip the chicken in it before rolling the buttered chicken in the kale mixture. Y’all, you are really just shoving as much kale as possible onto that chicken and then putting it in the pan and pressing any remaining kale around it. I promise that you will be shocked by how much the kale cooks down.
- Pour any remaining butter over the chicken and season with the garlic salt. When I say “season,” I really mean shake that garlic until Edward Cullen and all his vampire pals die from its strength. I’m really not sure if you can have too much garlic.
- Bake about an hour, or until top is getting golden and crispy.